If you need to borrow money in a hurry, no problem

money

In Cambodia, U.S. dollars and the national currency are accepted interchangeably. The note top left, 100 riels, is worth 2.5 cents. Coins do not exist, and paper notes often are grubby beyond words.

It is easy enough for even the most impoverished Cambodian to borrow, say, $10,000, in the event of an emergency such as an arrest that requires bail, a fire that damages a house or shop, or a medical issue.

Paying back the loan is another thing altogether.  And not paying, well. . .

The parallels to the vigorish that the underworld charges in the West are inescapable.  I don’t really know what the criminally avaricious charge elsewhere, but here it is Continue reading

Advertisements